An event in Dilbertland yesterday reminded me of the old M*A*S*H show that highlighted the silliness of appearances.
One of the upper executives was coming to town for an approximate 8 hour tour and visit with some key customers. Involved in his layover was an "inspection" of the facilities and a chance to give the staff a little feel good session, photo-op, and sale of commemorative t-shirts with the dates and cities he has visited to date listed on the back. (OK, I made that part up.) Anyways, the amount of cleaning, organizing, straightening, and otherwise ignored tasks to make an operation run efficiently and neatly, was amplified in advance of the upcoming visit. Like the old M*A*S*H episode, everything was in place, the rehearsal had been perfected and then the phone call came; there would be a delay. Suddenly, everything reverted back to normal, routine took over once again, and reality struck home. A half hour later, MacArthur arrived, looked around, made small talk with a couple of the grunts, mentioned to email him if there was anything that he could do to help, and was again back out the door. Total time on premises: 10 minutes.
Now I work in a good organization. It has issues like any other, but, it is basically good. The real work is not done at the top, however. It's done down in the trenches. Everyday. By the little people. On the line. Everyday.